Getting rid of Windows XP by August 11th, 2014

This issue only affects computers running Microsoft Windows XP.  To determine if your computer runs Microsoft Windows XP, look for the "This PC is running:" text on the Which Windows operating system am I running? web site.

Microsoft discontinued maintenance and security of Windows XP on April 8th, 2014.  That means Microsoft does not plan to release fixes for problems or security vulnerabilities, which means computers running Microsoft Windows XP become increasingly vulnerable and exploitable over time.  Therefore, we need to get Windows XP computers out of our environment (or at least off the network).

Since January, CAS IT has worked with departments to upgrade and replace Windows XP computers.  Working together, we  successfully reduced the number of Windows XP computers from 483 to 198 (of 2,932 computers) and we continue to work with departments still doing their upgrades and moves.

At this point in the process, we must ensure that our remaining colleagues using Windows XP realize the risk as well as the impending change and have opportunity to act.  Therefore, we plan the following change timeline:

June 27th, 2014

After a Windows XP user reboots or logs in, a hideous, unchangeable background (wallpaper) appears noting the current risk and future cut-off plan.  Thumbnail follows:

July, 2014

Every department does upgrades differently, so Windows XP users should contact their supervisor or department to determine current plans for the computer along with possible courses of action, which may include:

  • Upgrade to Windows 7 (if capable)
  • Replace with used computer
  • Replace with new computer
  • Plan to stop using

After learning your supevisor's or department's plans, you may 1) login and 2) submit Windows XP Network Exception Requests to:

  • Implement a work-around (e.g., figuring out how to continue collecting data with equipment that requires Windows XP)
  • Temporarily extend the following step (e.g., note a plan to purchase a replacement in September)
August 11th, 2014We plan to automatically disable Windows XP computer network access (unless we approve an exception request per the above).

Windows XP at Home (Non-UNT computers)

Whether you plan to have your family IT expert or an IT professional upgrade your home computer, please remember:

  • You may prefer to upgrade to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 (the latter requires more learning for non-tablet computers).
  • UNT provides excellent antivirus software for your home computer, at no charge.
  • UNT provides a very inexpensive, complete version of Microsoft Office.